Governor Steve Bullock today met with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long to urge additional assistance and resources to help fight Montana’s wildfires.
“It has been a long and challenging fire season in Montana,” Bullock told Administrator Long. “We’ve had losses to homes, livestock, forage and infrastructure, and we’ve tragically lost the lives of two wildland firefighters. We are experiencing impacts to individuals and businesses across the state, who have endured losses due to evacuations, hazardous air quality, and sustained threats to our tourism and recreation industries.”
“The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. While I will continue to pursue every available resource to support fire response and recovery, I am asking that we work together to ensure the long-term health, safety, and livelihood of Montanans impacted by this disaster,” Bullock continued.
Governor Bullock asked that Administrator Long work with his personnel to expedite the review and approvals of additional Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) requests, and consider the ability to apply for FMAGs across multiple fires. To date, FEMA has issued FMAGs for the Lodgepole Complex Fire and the Lolo Peak Fire. The FMAG program provides a 75 percent federal cost share for actual firefighting costs. Eligible firefighting costs may include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
Bullock thanked the FEMA staff for their efforts so far, “It means a lot to me and Montanans that you are making time to address our situation with ongoing wildfires.”
Governor Bullock also asked that Administrator Long and his staff help identify a path to support individual assistance. Governor Bullock requested that criteria and thresholds across multiple fires be addressed to make resources available for those who have faced significant impacts.